PagerDuty Deploys $600K to Further Investments in Global Health

by Olivia Khalili December 15, 2021 | 8 min read

Recognizing that the leading cause of death in the world today is delay, PagerDuty launched its Time-Critical Health focus area in 2019 with the mission to help save lives by reaching people faster. Specifically, we invest in tech-forward solutions that improve outcomes for the most underserved people in the world. This commitment was called into practice over the past 22 months as frontline health care workers and organizations tended to the dual needs of the pandemic response and ensured the continuity of basic essential health care.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we understood that vaccine equity was the “challenge of our time,” as WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. In response to the growing disparities in vaccine access, we deployed $1.2M earlier this year to help close the vaccine equity gap globally through vaccine distribution and grassroots engagement. Today, the ongoing effects of the pandemic continue to be felt across the world, especially in underserved communities that have not only been hit hard by uneven access to lifesaving vaccines, but also the downstream effects on taxed health care systems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This is why we are building on our earlier investments in vaccine equity to deploy an additional $600,000 in funding to organizations providing critical health care infrastructure and services to underserved communities in the United States and in low-and middle-income countries.

These investments are representative of our key approach to achieving our time-critical health outcomes by deploying technology, people power, and high-impact general operating funding to organizations to help amplify their impact. We are also piloting a critical pillar of grantee-focused trust-based funding by providing these grants as multi-year funding for the first time. We are excited to share the phenomenal work of our newest cohort of grantees, all of whom leverage the PagerDuty technology platform, and represent both reinvestments in previous partnerships and building on new partnerships.

Nexleaf Analytics
Nexleaf is on a mission to partner with countries ​​to ensure they have the data they need to build lasting solutions that improve the health of people. Like PagerDuty, Nexleaf believes in the power of timely, accurate, and actionable data, particularly to address global health challenges. As one of our first time-critical health grantees, Nexleaf used grant funding and PagerDuty’s incident response platform, with technical pro bono support from PagerDuty employees, to enhance the delivery of power outage alerts and make them more useful for healthcare workers in 13 under-resourced health facilities in Kenya. Their ColdTrace technology, originally designed as a wireless remote temperature monitoring solution for vaccine refrigerators, was tested as a way to monitor power availability with 15 healthcare partners across Kenya. This had a tremendous impact on critical systems functions at the healthcare facilities. For example, Nexleaf combined PagerDuty’s responsive platform with their ColdTrace sensor alerts to monitor power availability for oxygen ventilators and other lifesaving equipment to ensure patients were receiving the care they needed. They now use PagerDuty incident response in clinics across Kenya to notify on-call healthcare workers anytime a power outage occurs. Early results of this work show that power outage alerts enabled healthcare workers to act quickly to ensure power is restored and lives are saved.

Continued unrestricted funding and technical support will enable Nexleaf to further pilot use cases for automated alerts and analytics. This will improve visibility of power availability in the clinics Nexleaf partners with, which enables these clinics to make data-driven decisions on investments in new projects, policies, and resources to strengthen existing health equipment and infrastructure to save more lives. We consider these types of reinvestments in our grantees and customers critical to deepening impact and are thrilled to support Nexleaf’s mission for the next two years.

SIRUM saves lives as the largest distributor of recycled medications in the United States. They collect unexpired, surplus medications from hundreds of medicine donors – like nursing homes and pharmacies – and provide them to patients in need. Medications are one of the most effective health interventions available, yet access to necessary medicines is one of the most pressing problems in the United States. Approximately 10 million low-income adults in the United States suffer from a chronic illness but are uninsured or underinsured and cannot afford the medicine they need. At the same time, there is a huge untapped source of medications: an estimated $5-11 billion in surplus medications each year is discarded or ends up in incinerators. SIRUM wants to change this equation and get $772 million worth of medication to one million people who need it most. They plan to do this through a highly scalable technology-driven solution that will reach 70% of the 10 million most in need by 2030 by growing the supply of donated medicines more than 10x and creating opportunities for a transparent, equitable and affordable marketplace for medicine.

General support and multi-year funding will enable SIRUM to double their work in 2022 alone, positioning them to get thousands more prescriptions to patients per day through warehouse automation. The partnership will also provide an opportunity to integrate SIRUM’s tech stack with PagerDuty as well as explore shopfloor IoT integrations for tasks such as shelving, robotic sorting, machine vision, and temperature control on medications such as insulin. We couldn’t be more excited to launch this grant partnership with the incredible team at SIRUM.

SIRUM is honored to partner with PagerDuty to reimagine access for the millions of patients who make impossible choices between getting the medications they need to stay healthy and paying for rent or groceries. We already use technology to redistribute unused medicine to get it where it’s needed most. We’re excited that this partnership will enable us to leverage technology for good in new ways to create a more equitable health system” – Kiah J. Williams, Co-founder of SIRUM

Trek Medics International
Trek Medics International is dedicated to improving emergency medical systems in communities across the world without reliable access to emergency care through innovative mobile phone technologies. Approximately 80% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to reliable emergency care in the face of a life- or limb-threatening emergency. Trek Medics provides 911-type emergency response technologies for at-risk and under-resourced populations in the United States and low-and-middle-income countries through their Beacon platform which alerts, coordinates and tracks responders using simple text messaging accessible on any mobile device, with or without Internet.

Trek Medics now leverages the PagerDuty platform to monitor system components and alert Beacon users to system disruptions such as telecom outages. For example, as recently as last week, their team in Haiti received an alert from PagerDuty about a possible alert to their call center. The heads up enabled the team on the ground to prepare to address and resolve the outage and while all turned out well, the team expressed relief that they could rely on the PagerDuty platform to detect and report potential outages before it impacted their ability to respond to an emergency call. An initial grant last year, PagerDuty technology credits, and technical pro bono support helped Trek Medics make critical investments in product and engineering to enable them to track critical metrics such as mean time to acknowledge an incident and mean time to respond to an incident.

Our follow-on two-year grant will enable Trek Medics to continue to innovate and make investments to provide emergency care to those in life-threatening situations. Together, through our technology, funding, people power, we will support Trek Medics ensure their incident response is timely and intelligent, potential issues are identified before causing service interruptions to end users, and there is a coherent response plan when issues are identified. We are grateful to continue to support Trek Medics growth ambitions to implement monitoring such that their applications perform better in low-connectivity settings and utilize better analysis and tracking of when messages fail to be delivered, GPS location tracking, and deeper monitoring to ensure timely emergency support for those who need it the most.

As we launch this third cohort of time-critical health grantees, we are focused on iterating on earlier investments to more effectively center our impact around product, and quantitatively measure our impact. This includes evolving our impact and product usage metrics to connect them to outcomes. We believe in listening and learning from the expertise of our partners as the direct implementers on the ground. Based on their feedback, we will refine initial metrics of saving lives and reaching people faster to better capture the diverse ways that our partner organizations execute on their missions to achieve impact.

At PagerDuty, we envision a responsive world where everyone has the freedom to thrive and we believe in deep ongoing partnerships with our grantees and customers to achieve this vision. We are committed to your mission. We want to understand how we can support your operations management and unleash the full power of our technology platform, people, and funding to help amplify your impact. Learn more about PagerDuty for nonprofits and apply for PagerDuty’s Impact Pricing so you can keep your digital operations up and running all year round.

Photo Credit: Trek Medics International